Horner “not really” surprised by Binotto’s departure from Ferrari

2022 F1 season

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The departure of Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto following their failure to win the championship this year comes as no surprise to his opposite number at Red Bull, Christian Horner.

Red Bull won the constructors’ championship with three races to spare and Max Verstappen won the drivers’ title one round before that. Ferrari began the year in strong shape, winning two of the first three races, but finished a distant second to Red Bull in the final standings, while Charles Leclerc only narrowly beat Sergio Perez to the runner-up spot.

Horner said he was “not really” surprised Ferrari had replaced Binotto, who had run the team for the last four seasons, following their defeat.

“It’s obviously Ferrari’s choice,” he told Sky. “I think it’ll be their sixth team principal I’ve sat opposite since I’ve been at Red Bull.

“It’s obviously very difficult for him. They had a great car this year. They were certainly very competitive.”

While no one other than Horner has run Red Bull’s Formula 1 team since it entered the sport in 2005, Ferrari has had a succession of different team principals. Binotto was preceded by Maurizio Arrivabene, Marco Mattiacci, Stefano Domenicali and Jean Todt, who was in charge during Red Bull’s first season.

Horner downplayed suggestions he could be a hiring target for Ferrari. “My commitment is very much with the Red Bull team,” he said. “I’ve been there since the beginning and we obviously have a very close attachment.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown praised Binotto’s efforts at the team, which scored its first wins since 2019 this year. “It seems to me like Mattia did a very good job,” he said. “They were very competitive this year.

“I don’t know the inner workings there. My standpoint is obviously stability, get the team to work together long-term delivers the best results.”

Brown said he had “no idea” whether Ferrari has made an approach to McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl but insisted: “I know he’s not going there!”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Horner “not really” surprised by Binotto’s departure from Ferrari”

  1. They’ve had 2 runs of success in the last 50 years. One with a foreigner running and one with a succession of Italians. Maybe it’s time to go back to a foreigner. A succession of Italians isn’t working this time.

    1. Basically we can say ferrari had 3 eras where they managed to win titles: the classic era, 1952-1964 with several titles during those years, the lauda era, again some titles inbetween 1975 and 1979 and the schumacher era, with some titles from 1999 to 2008, not a lot tbh for a team that has been around this long.

      1. I remember during the Schumacher era that Schumacher was involved in selecting managers and designers. Didnt Mike bring in a designer from outside of Ferrari?

        1. Mike was an idiot savant. Like Rainman. He could drive at genius levels, but couldn’t do much else. The management and design structures weren’t anything anyone would let a guy like him touch.

    2. Didn’t call it ascari era cause it was the minority of those years that he was still racing.

    3. Why does nationality matter? Historically most F1 teams are run by English men, and most of the time these teams don’t win races never mind titles.

      With a handful of exceptions – most notably 1980 and 2020, Ferrari has been a top three F1 team since the late 1970s. That’s a consistent level of performance and success that no other team can match. Even other world championship winning teams tend to drop off after their ‘all stars align’ moment fades and regulations require new thinking or star drivers leave. Benetton, McLaren, Williams, Renault, etc. not to mention all the big manufacturer backed teams like BMW, Toyota that quit having never even come close to success.

      Somehow Ferrari has to be 1st or it’s a failure, when a team like McLaren seems to have endless goodwill from fans and press alike, and people look at their decade without any success and still buy into the ‘rebuilding’ excuses that never seem to result in any progress.

  2. Off course he wasn’t surpirsed, Ferrari had already approached Horner to try and get him to replace Binotto, so he knew up front!

    1. Ahah, so true!

  3. Jeffrey Powell
    6th December 2022, 9:00

    Mr Horner is very intuitive , and I thought I was the only one who had an inkling this was a possibility, well not quite true I believe Nostradamus may have foretold it.

  4. Well a picture paints a thousand words.
    F1 is not as cut-throat or dog eat dog as many believe.

    It’s obvious here that Christian feels genuine sympathy for Mattia.
    Something like a “I feel for you Mattia, don’t worry I’ll always look up to you”.

  5. Ferrari need to get away from doing things circa Italy 1930. Admit to their failings, stop pretending everything is fine through the season when it clearly isn’t, and fire the _right_ people. Don’t bin a scapegoat. Binotto got them up the constructors and made them very competitive. Arguably having the fastest car at points last season. Their only failing was in strategy. So fix strategy! Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I think they’ve made a mistake here. They’ll do well to bring someone in as good as Binotto, and if they don’t fix the strategy team then I think they could go backwards next season. With Merc probably being quicker next season it’s likely they’ll go backwards anyway.

  6. The culture of fear is back at Ferrari.
    Binotto, who brought stability and performance to the team got sacked. The message is clear: no error will be tolerated.
    No one will take risks or innovate, they could make a mistake and lose their job. Better go with the safe options. They won’t win you championships, but at least you’re not unemployed.

    1. That’s not the case, as Binotto resigned here.

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